Nurturing Dharma Through Sports: A Dharmic Approach to Athletics

Nurturing Dharma Through Sports: A Dharmic Approach to Athletics

Over the past few decades, sports have transitioned from a casual pastime to a highly organized and professional pursuit, particularly evident in games like cricket, which have transformed into lucrative enterprises. The accessibility of sports has broadened through online platforms, captivating not just a national but a global audience, thereby injecting substantial funds into the ecosystem. As sports stars amass considerable wealth, it becomes imperative for them to channel a portion of their earnings towards the future development of sports, especially in rural and urban areas where burgeoning interest is witnessed.

The potential benefits of engaging youth in sports are multifaceted. Firstly, it contributes to enhanced health—Shariram adyam khalu dharma sadhanam. Secondly, it occupies their free time constructively, reducing the likelihood of falling into detrimental company or adopting unhealthy habits. Thirdly, it fosters improved interpersonal relations and teamwork, skills that extend to the professional realm, opening avenues for employment in sectors like Police, Coast Guard, and Para Military.

Moreover, sports serve as a powerful deterrent against the burgeoning drug menace. By involving youth in sports, societies can redirect their focus away from drugs, contributing to the broader fight against drug smuggling and associated criminal activities. Additionally, the leadership qualities instilled through sports are vital. Athletes should be taught to adhere to the dharma of a leader—respect for authority, fair play, and maintaining composure in the face of adverse situations. Ensuring fair play not only involves following the rules of the game but also avoiding performance-enhancing drugs that tarnish the spirit of competition and can lead to severe consequences.

To harness the dharmic potential of sports, concerted efforts are essential:

  1. Governments, both central and state, must increase allocations to sports as the economy grows, ensuring a continuous influx of funds.
  2. Stringent measures should be in place to prevent any form of harassment against women sportspersons.
  3. Business enterprises should allocate a portion of their Corporate Social Responsibility funds to sponsor sports, emphasizing not just winning medals but also developing overall fitness, character, and leadership capabilities.
  4. Working professionals should actively support sports in their localities, contributing to the overall well-being of the community.
  5. Teachers should encourage sports not only as a curriculum requirement but also as an extracurricular activity.
  6. Parents play a crucial role by not only supporting their children but also motivating other children in the community to participate in sports, fostering physical fitness and dharmic behavior.

In essence, it is the dharma of each adult to ensure their own fitness while actively contributing to the fitness and ethical development of future generations.

Dr. M B Athreya

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